June 18, 2019

Can New Rusesabagina-Twagiramungu Alliance Survive Where Many Others Have Failed To Live Beyond Talk And Press Releases?

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Paul Rusesabagina (L) and Faustin Twagiramungu (R) are trying out a new alliance which observers doubt will survive for long

Exiled former Prime Minister Faustin Twagiramungu has formed a joint platform with Paul Rusesabagina, another Rwandan opposition figure, whose story is depicted in ‘Hotel Rwanda’ movie.

The alliance also comes two months after Rusesabagina’s armed group spokesman Nsabimana Callixte alias Maj Sankara was captured from the Indian ocean islands of Commoros.

Last week, President Paul Kagame raised Twagiramungu’s name, without naming him, at a government forum in Nigeria. Kagame said the ex-PM had connived with a minister to steal $200,000 back in 1995.

Rusesabagina and Twagiramungu this Tuesday held media briefing in the Belgian capital Brussels to unveil their new “political platform”. As they did so, President Paul Kagame was also in the same city.

Rusesabagina brings his Rwandan movement for democratic change (MRCD) which includes a splinter faction of FDLR militia, whose members took part in the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi.

Rusesabagina lives between Switzerland and U.S., with an armed group called the national liberation front (FLN) operating from DR Congo, which Sankara was the spokesman. (READ MORE HERE)

Twagiramungu for his part comes with his group called the Rwanda Dream Initiative or RDI-Rwanda Ubumwe.

As Twagiramungu and Rusesabagina are forming single group with FLN as armed wing, there is already another similar platform – the Rwanda national congress (RNC) led group of ex-army chief Gen Kayumba Nyamwasa, who lives in South Africa.

Paul Rusesabagina’s story, which has been contested by survivors, is depicted in Hollywood movie “Hotel Rwanda”, from experience of what happened at Hotel des Milles Collines in Kigali during the genocide. He was awarded by former U.S President George W. Bush

RNC platform includes splinter faction of PS Imberakuri political party registered in Rwanda, and Ingabire Victoire’s FDU Inkingi group, which is unregistered.

Together, they have formed an armed group called “P5”, also based in eastern DR Congo.

It is this RNC alliance and its “P5” group that are the cause of the ongoing bitter standoff between Rwandan and Ugandan governments.

President Paul Kagame has personally accused Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni of providing safe haven for RNC operatives and recruits for P5, as well as cash and safe passage for them to DRC.

Burundi is also another axis being used by the RNC-P5 group to recruit, according to Rwanda.

President Museveni, according to Rwanda, has also been working to connect Gen Nyamwasa with original FDLR and its military wing FOCA.

FDLR top commanders who were captured in December last year by DRC forces as they returned from Uganda – and handed to Rwanda, are currently facing trial.

They are FDLR spokesman Ignace Nkaka alias LaForge Bazeye Fils and deputy intelligence chief Lt Col Nsekenabo Jean Pierre alias Abega Kamala.

In their bail hearings, which was denied, government prosecutors detailed how the two travelled from Congo’s vast forests to the posh hotels in Uganda.

They were allegedly facilitated by Dr. Philemon Mateke, the 76 year-old Ugandan state minister for regional cooperation.

In the press conference streamed live on YouTube from Brussels, Rusesabagina and Twagiramungu said called President Kagame and his Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) party all kinds of derogatory names.

In the press conference attended by mainly their supporters, the Rusesabagina and Twagiramungu signed a prepared document which they said was a binding agreement

By design however, the two had arranged their cooperation agreement to coincide with the visit of President Kagame at the European Development Days annual events taking place at the EU headquarters. Kagame addressed the main session and held discussions with EU top leaders.

“We are here to fight against one man called Paul Kagame,” said Twagiramungu.

His new found friend, Rusesabagina said: “RDI, FDU-Inkindi, RNC and MRCD all have the same agenda to fight against the current dictatorship in Rwanda.”

In Brussels, on the street where President Kagame’s motorcade passed, there were hundreds of Rwandans carrying placards with messages of support for him.

But farther away, a smaller group, which had been organised by Twagiramungu and Rusesabagina, protested.

Observer are wondering how this Rusesabagina-Twagiramungu alliance will operate with the existence of the Nyamwasa group. Twagiramungu does not believe in being under anyone, so does Nyamwasa. It is unlikely the two platforms will ever come together.

This new platform is second one Twagiramungu has tried to bring together.

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